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Match Report: Exeter City 2 Walsall 2
Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two clash with Exeter City, which took place n Saturday, 2nd October.
With their unbeaten spell well and truly behind them, Walsall arrived at the match on the back of two defeats in as many games and in search of three much-needed points.

Exeter City began the game well, opening the scoring with their first real attacking move just five minutes into the contest. Timothée Dieng meeting a cross from Jevani Brown at the back post and heading home to gift his side an early advantage.

Walsall looked to respond quickly, winning a corner at the other end just a minute after falling behind, but nothing would come of the opportunity and Exeter soon had the ball back up at the other end, where Brown looked to score one of his own. Thankfully, Saddlers shot-stopper, Carl Rushworth was well-placed and denied the effort.

Unperturbed, the Saddlers again worked the ball back up field, where they won a free-kick on the edge of the area, though nothing would ultimately come of the opportunity as Emmanuel Osadebe's effort sailed narrowly wide.

There was a brief pause in proceedings in the twelfth minute, whilst ground staff attended to a broken net. Fortunately it didn't take long for them to fix the issue, allowing play to resume.

Walsall began to show signs of promise as the game continued; a cross from Brendan Kiernan causing problems for the City defences in the eighteenth minute, with Pierce Sweeney forced to concede a corner, which ultimately came to nothing, before George Miller curled an effort wide from close range when he really ought to have levelled the scores.

The Saddlers continued to press, with Manny Monthe unlucky not to draw the travelling side level in the twenty-fourth minute, as he somehow failed to connect with the ball a few yards from goal.

Exeter soon had the ball back in the Walsall area, with Dieng a little unlucky to see an effort blocked behind for a corner, from which the hosts won a second flag-kick as the Saddlers struggled to clear the danger. Thankfully, for the travelling faithful, their team were able to deal with the second cross in better than the first, with Rushworth claiming.

Walsall were again presented with an opportunity to draw level in the twenty-eighth minute, as a well-placed cross from Kieran Phillips met the head of Miller, who glanced his effort wide when he again really ought to have drawn his side level.

The Saddlers felt they should have been awarded a penalty in the thirty-third minute, as captain, Joss Labadie was felled inside the box, but the referee was unmoved by their appeals and waved play on.

Four minutes later, the referee looked more favourably on the Saddlers as Kiernan was fouled inside the area by Harry Kite. Miller stepped forth to take the spot-kick and duly converted, sending Exeter shot-stopper, Cameron Dawson, the wrong way as he secured his third goal of the season and tied the scores.

Walsall continued to cause the Exeter defences problems as we raced towards the break, with Miller playing in Hayden White in the forty-second minute, with the defender forcing a good save from Dawson.

Four additional minutes were added to end the first-half, though there was little further action of note and the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments with the scores tied at one goal apiece.

HT
ECFC
1-1
WFC
 
Exeter opted to make a double change to their line-up as the teams returned, with Pierce Sweeney and Harry Kite sitting out the second-half as Archie Collins and Josh Coley took their places as the match got back underway.

With just two minutes of the second-half played, the referee awarded Exeter a penalty after Dieng was tripped inside the area by Labadie. Grecian captain, Matt Jay, stepped forth to take the spot-kick, but his effort collided with the crossbar and the scores remained tied.

Fifty-nine minutes into the contest, Timothée Dieng became the first player to receive a yellow card, as he received a caution for a foul on White.

Two minutes after the booking, the hosts restored their earlier lead as Brown played a ball over the top for Sam Nombe, who beat Rushworth with a strike into the far corner.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle following the goal, with neither side really able to create anything to test their opposition.

With seventy minutes on the clock, Walsall chose to make their first change of the afternoon, as Brendan Kiernan made way for Tyrese Shade.

Mere seconds after the substitution was completed, the travelling team levelled the scores for a second time, as Miller met a cross from Hayden and guided the ball past Dawson with well-placeded header.

In the seventy-fifth minute, the Grecians opted to make their third and final change of the afternoon, with Timothée Dieng making way for Nigel Atangana.

The home side upped the tempo heading into the final ten minutes, with Brown firing an effort goal-wards from the edge of the area in the eightieth minute, forcing a save from Rushworth who gathered with ease, before Nombe fired into the side netting a minute later.

Exeter continued to see much of the ball as time ebbed away, though they were unable to find anything to really test the Walsall defences.

As we reached the ninetieth minute, Stephen Ward became only the second player to see yellow, as he received a caution for time-wasting.

Four additional minutes were added to end the match, though there was little further action of note, and the game was brought to it's conclusion with the scores still tied. A decent result in the end for the travelling Saddlers who showed a lot of endeavour to draw themselves back onto level terms twice during the game.

FT
ECFC
2-2
WFC
Dieng (5')
Nombe (61') 
Miller, P, (37')
Miller (70')
REFEREE
Peter Wright
ATT / AT
4,839 (370) - St James Park
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